I wrote last week of some of the historical claims regarding Saint Valentine of Rome. I did not spell out the details of his persecution and eventual death beyond that he had been beheaded. In addition to encouraging marriage between one man and one women against the edict of Claudius II, Valentine was also bold to share his faith in Jesus. Valentine was SO courageous that he fearlessly formed a relationship between himself and the emperor and even attempted to convert Claudius to Christianity. Unfortunately, this infuriated Claudis so much that he sentenced Valentine to death unless he would renounce his faith in Jesus Christ. When Valentine would not abandon his faith, he was beaten with clubs, stoned, and then beheaded. That is an extreme amount of suffering for his faith! It is quite shocking that a man that was so faithful to Jesus Christ that he was willing to risk converting the man who had the power to brutally murder him is remembered for romantic love instead of as a martyr. This compels me to be more intentional about celebrating the love of Christ on Valentine’s Day - with my family and following in Valentine’s footsteps by boldly sharing the Gospel. What if we took the month of February to share the Gospel with our friends, family and neighbors instead of buying into the commercialism that America attributes to the holiday? Here are three more ideas to point your family to the love of Christ on Valentine’s Day:
1) Celebrate God’s love throughout the month of February by adding Scripture, written on heart-shapes, hung somewhere in your home. I clothespin hearts to a string of twine across my mantel. We start each morning focusing on the Scripture of the day and the truth about God’s unconditional love that it conveys. Scriptures used:
1 John 4:7-8
1 John 4:9-10
2) Consider allowing your kids to gift Scripture-laden Valentine’s - on a large paper heart, write out Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” and tape a chocolate to it. Or create small cards with Scripture about God’s love and tape candy to it.
3) Make a valentine FOR Jesus to teach them about His love for us. Have your kids decorate a valentine and attach this poem to it somewhere:
Jesus, please be my Valentine;
You make my life complete
I can take my cares to you,
and lay them at your feet.
You give to me the blessings
that I cannot live without.
This is the kind of love
that Valentine’s Day is all about.